Today I am excited to announce plans for the release of the first Leadwerks 5 beta version. Leadwerks 5 will roll out sooner rather than later, employing an extended beta period during which versions 4 and 5 will live side-by-side, using the same code base, with preprocessor definitions to compile each version. This allows me to fix small problems without forking the code, while I can implement new changes in version 5. The first features implemented will be the use of smart pointers for all shared objects, and unicode support for all strings.
A subscription model will be available for access to the Leadwerks 5 beta, at a modest price of just $4.99/month for enthusiasts who want access to the most cutting-edge game development technology as it is developed. This will be available through the Leadwerks.com site, and will not use Steam (at least at first). I feel it is important for the company's future to start building a recurring revenue stream, and I want to create something that does not rely on any middleman who may arbitrarily change or discontinue the terms of the service they are providing. The Leadwerks 5 beta will implement breaking changes as it is developed, and is not meant for use in a production environment, so I do not recommend moving any commercial projects from version 4 to 5. Leadwerks 4.x will continue to receive updates and new features until the final version 5 is released.
Leadwerks 5 is designed to be the most advanced game engine in the world, combining improved ease of use with massive performance, and a special emphasis on VR. Thank you for supporting the next generation of game development technology.